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Why does Perl have its own regexp engine in 2012?

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January 15, 2013 05:58
Why does Perl have its own regexp engine in 2012?
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This post is not to discredit anyones RE work. I recently saw some 
discussion somewhere about "bus factor" and Perl. So I've been thinking 
about where Perl 5 is going, and specifically the RE engine. I predict 
this email/thread will be mostly philosophy and opinions without code, 
so if you have real work to do, go back to it.

When Perl got REs (1980s/1990s), I dont think there were any FOSS RE 
libraries to copy/embed. Now in the 2010s, everyone has an RE engine ( ). 
So here are some questions for thought I'd like to see answers/opinions 
to. I don't have an opinion on any of them.

Is Perl 5 maintaining its own RE a good use of limited developer 
resources? are there limited developer resources in the first place?

When P5 RE implements new syntax, does other RE engines still follow?

Does P5 RE follow other's RE new syntax?

What is the speed (I won't define that) of P5 RE vs other RE in other 

What if someone skilled in the RE engine from p5p is hit by a bus? who 
is left? are there enough docs and code comments for someone else to 
take over?

Would you replace Perl's native RE engine, and if so, with what other 

What would be the challenges of replacing the native Perl RE engine?

Should the P5 RE engine spun off as a dual life?

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